Corpse Paint Lives On

Corpse paint is one of the longest-running symbols of black metal. While many think it has more than outstayed its welcome, it lives on and always will. Starting as a staple of shock rock, it naturally migrated to the most shocking genre of music the world had ever seen, the second wave of BM of the early ’90s where it flourished and ultimately peaked. It was a symbol used to show a great number of things, but ultimately became more associated with the Norwegian scene and they style they created than any metaphorical meaning.

When you see a band wearing corpse paint, you can safely assume what their music is going to sound like before they even pick up an instrument. Relentless, high energy and most likely satanic or occult in theme, the image is as – if not more – important than the music itself. There’s many forms the black and white face paint can take, ranging from the deadly serious of Gaahl to the cartoonishly comical of Abbath.

But in the end, it will remain an important aesthetic component to these bands, and I’ll admit it can be tastefully done on occasion. Above are a few shockingly intense photographs of Natremia, highlighting the effect good corpse paint can have on a band’s image. Taken by my friend who is an amazingly talented photographer, the high contrast pictures brings out the bleak qualities defined by both the paint and the music. The Bordeaux-based horde will debut their first full-length on September 16th.

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